What does it sound like?:
The many fans of Kim Richey here will know “Glimmer”, the album Kim made in London 20 years ago using mostly Brit musicians which has a definitely non-Nashville vibe as a result. Fig leaf dropped – I love it. It’s one of my most reliable musical companions for the last two decades and my signed copy bought from Kim on the merch stand at a Tricia Yearwood gig is precious. Actually I already had it but gifted my existing copy to a pal. Kim signed it “Thanks for the SECOND copy!”.
For those who don’t know, it is a collection of gorgeous songs, rich in melody, deceptively straightforward in lyric, and the full attangements on the original album perfectly complement the songs. A reliable 24 carat gem.
So, to this album. Having spent 20 years playing these songs, usually with just an acoustic guitar accompaniment or one or two companions, Kim developed a different relationship with the songs than (say) a band might with their new album, where recording it and touring it are essentially pretty directly comparable. So to mark the 20th anniversary of the original album she returned to the studio and rerecorded the songs in much stripped down form supported by multi instrumentalist/producer Doug Lancio. There are generally only a few instruments per track, a few key harmonies reproduced, key and much loved bits of arrangement from the original are reproduced but reshaped to the mostly acoustic vibe so the effect is a much loved pal who appears in a completely new outfit which just suits them whilst not turning them into a stranger.
And carrying this through us of course Kim’s voice, which seems not to have aged at all in the 20 years. The noticeable differences for those, like me, who know the original album so well, are the subtle changes in delivery to pick out critical moods or words in the lyric to add shades of emphasis and meaning with the benefit of 20 years of hard work experience on the road.
I’m not docking a point for it but clearly changing the running order is unthinkable and the first thing I did was sequence it back to the original album listing. I’m afraid I know it far too well for the songs to appear in a different order, Kim.
What does it all *mean*?
I’m not a great fan of remakes, reboots, prequels and all that commercially driven malarkey but if the songs are there and it is driven by emotion and artistic intent rather than some twat in a suit spotting a niche in the market to make the year end numbers, I’m OK with it.
You can get it in Bandcamp for a very reasonable price and that way the money goes straight to Kim who makes a living touring, and we know how that’s working out at the moment.
Goes well with…
Like most of us I’m feeling a bit lost, emotional and stressy. It goes with that. And a glass of red wine.
Might suit people who like…
Oh, great songs and singing in stripped down form. This isn’t lip trembling winsome female folky stuff though. It’s serious mature woman telling how it is. You can handle it, don’t worry.